Diverse microbial communities live in the gut regions of animals. The precise ecological and evolutionary circumstances that govern relationships between hosts and their gut communities is unclear. In this study, we hypothesize that host feeding strategy shapes the microbial communities within the gut systems of insects. We collected five insect species from the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge that exhibited herbivorous, detritovorous and carnivorous diets. Using gut samples from the insects we measured if and how microbial communities are shaped based on any effect host feeding strategy might have. Preliminary analysis of bacterial communities using 16S rDNA sequences has thus far revealed that the sampled community profiles initially appear to show signs of being determined by host feeding type. Analysis has also shown that sequences from the phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria appear to contribute most significantly to the differences between communities of different feeding types. We expect that upon further data recovery, the extent of the effect host feeding type has on the communities will be clarified. Additionally we intend to incorporate bacterial community data from previous studies to further broaden our sample set. We expect our results to further define the ecological circumstances that shape the microbial populations within living systems.
Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier
Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (http://www.lternet.edu/data/netpolicy.html).
2008-09-13 - 2008-09-20
Sampling areas are located on both sides of the dirt road through the cattle pasture as well as inside the Sevilleta NWR just west of the Los Pinos Mountains.
Colman, Daniel; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; Toolson, Eric (2016-03-11): Investigating Host Feeding Strategy as a Determinant of Insect Gut Microbial Community Profile at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico. Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/c13ffc0a02c92dede1c6df8023ea2ab9